At Sparks HQ we’ve made some recent changes for the Sparks scholarship program, so I thought I would share some information about the program and what it looks like now.

What it the Sparks Scholarship Program?

Sparking Change is a social enterprises – a business that trades to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, and help the environment. We take this really seriously, we really want to change the world. So.. we decided to give 2 free spots to the community workshops we run.

1 spot is for a person who can’t participate due to financial hardship.

1 spot is specifically for a Indigenous Australian.

The big change we have made is that we are now offering successful applicants a spot in both the ‘Using Story for Advocacy and Leadership’ workshop as well as ‘Strategic Storytelling for Social Change’ workshop.

All people awarded the scholarship need to (with the best of their ability) attend both workshops in the above aforementioned order.  Please be mindful that we expect you to make a commitment to attend both workshops – and we can talk about and negotiate when you attend each workshop.

I often get asked what we’re looking for in a Sparks change maker. The short answer is someone who will get the most out of the training we offer! A longer answer would be someone who has:

  • A clear understanding of what you think you will get out of a Sparks workshop and some idea of what you will do with this.
  • Some campaigning experience – campaigning means many different things to different people. But if you are working to change something in the world, at whatever scale, chances are you are doing some campaigning of some sort.
  • An understanding of the bigger picture – how does your campaigning fit into the wider fight for a more just society?
  • Passion and commitment.

We prioritise people from from communities most impacted by injustice (for example, those from low-income/working class backgrounds, people of colour, LGBTQ+ people, migrants, people with disabilities) as well as those who campaign on issues that affect them or the communities they are from. This is because:

  • We think these groups are less likely to have access to great trainings like ours!
  • We believe that the best communities are formed when difference is embraced.
  • Campaigning works best when those on the frontlines of an issue are the ones to decide how to confront it.

My Guide To The Application Process 

For each question we have set a limit of 200 words for your answer.

Find out what kind of answers would get high marks below:

1. What campaigning are you involved in now?

The best answers would:

– Give evidence that you have been involved in some advocacy, campaigning or activism (we’re looking for people who have some experience, but still have a lot to learn).

– Clearly explain your advocacy/campaigning/activism goals. Why does your campaign matter?

– Be specific about what you worked on when campaigning, not just what your broader group or organisation worked on.

2. What are you hoping to gain from the Sparks workshops?

The best answers would:

– Give clear examples of concrete things you want to gain.

– Reflect on the skills or tools you would like to develop and the specific blocks you are finding in your campaign work.

3. What motivates you to be involved in the specific social change work that you do?

The best answers would:

– Show passion and commitment!

– Explain why you do the advocacy/campaigning work you do – give us concrete examples that show knowledge of the issues you care about.

– Show us that you have a sustained interest in campaigning.

4. What are you going to do with what you learn at our workshops?

The best answers would:

– Give concrete examples of what advocacy/campaigning/activism you are planning to do after the workshops.

– Explain how what we teach will impact your advocacy/campaigning.

To sum up…

  • Be specific. Use concrete examples of things you have done/would like to do in your campaigning and how Sparks workshops might help.
  • Be personal. Tell us about you – what work you have done, what you believe and why you care. But…
  • Be mindful of the big picture. Tell us how your Sparks experience will not just impact you, but the wider issue on which you campaign.
  • Be clear and concise. Make sure you explain everything clearly. Don’t use a lot of acronyms or assume we are already familiar with your field.

All the best with your application! If you have any questions about the application form please feel free to drop me an email on hello@sparkingchange.com.au

 

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